Paul Widerman

I learned of Paul Widerman through a friend whose son was in his high school wrestling program. This interview took place on our first meeting, and as far as we knew we had no common ground: Paul's reticince is evident. It turned out we had many common interests, including our mutual friend Neil Tyson, who is also part of this project. Only with Paul's help was I able to persuade Lou Giani, Paul's mentor and a private person, to contribute to the project.

Paul now lives on the West Coast. We don't see each other often, but it's great when we do.

Interview Excerpts
Read the full interview :

"From a very young age I liked to do a lot of things. I liked to be free. I didn’t like to be put in a box, and I didn’t like labels. And I liked to go really deeply into things. I liked mind-body, physical things — just naturally liked to move, liked to be in my body…

"Our high school wrestling coach, Lou Giani, was so good, and so renowned that there were people who moved to the town to be in his tutelage… That got me in the fold of seeing how he was training people over years. I started to see the discipline with which he approached his craft, and how he really developed people over a long period of time. I sort of fell into the fold, kind of accidentally…

"At this point in my life I’m really looking at wrestling as a movement art … I’m not nearly as interested in the competitive aspect of wrestling as I am in the art of it. It’s not so important whether you win or lose, but how you pursue this art form called 'wrestling'…

"So, to me, your whole life is about finding the things that you’re passionate about, that you love, that you’re willing to go the distance on. That’s how you get fulfillment, that’s how you grow, and that’s how people really excel, or get great at something…"

Smart Bells, at Think Fit
The Art of Wrestling

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Copyright © 2010, Lincoln Stoller. All rights reserved.